In it, Weichle lays down ground rules which prohibit opening statements and comparisons between Larry Snow and Mike Skala, the only two candidates invited to the meeting.
Only Skala, whose wife is a teacher and past union leader, and Snow, who was chief negotiator for the board in last year’s salary negotiations, are running against each other.
The next email comes from Snow:
Thank you for clarifying:
2. It was made very clear that the event will be a strong reflection on the two unions.
As you know we had a difference of interpretation during contract negotiations of what the word “reasonable” means.
The HEA’s position was your request for a 30% pay hike in the first year was “reasonable”.
My interpretation of “personal attack” in your ground rules allows for me to point out Mr. Skala’s voting record and his actions as a Board President and board member.
The HEA’s interpretation does not. Refer to Ms. Weichle’s email below.
I can understand why the HEA wants to hide Mr. Skala’s voting record and actions from voters.
As such, I have decided to not participate because the HEA is choosing to not allow the public to be fully informed at your event on three critical issues in this election campaign.
1. Mr. Skala’s record, as Board President, of ignoring a “No” tax increase vote and then running a large tax hike campaign that was based on a series of financial deceptions, for which he insisted his facts were “not debatable” and for which he performed no due diligence. The word “deception” was used by the Daily Herald (July 2005) in its editorial on the subject.
See attached. By your ground rules you would not allow my comment that Mr. Skala led the Board to raise everyone’s taxes.
I have a record of asking and then insisting Mr. Skala be straight with the voters on this issue. Frankly, Mr. Skala could have truthfully told voters about:
- 5 million dollars he made sure was not budgeted.
- 9 million of the 13 million of debt that got parked, unused, into a money market account.
- There was no financial crisis; 4 new schools could open with more new teachers and staff.
2. I understand how Mrs. Skala has been an official in your teachers union, and teacher in our district, and how you want to help her husband get elected to be in a position again to overtly help your union during future negotiations. As you know the Board is currently in negotiations with the teachers union on pay and health benefit issues.
Part 3 of this article, in which Snow concludes this email, comes tomorrow.